Has anyone substantially improved their DEXA score with diet and weights?

Hi, this is my first post. I'm just turning 60 and have almost -3 score for my hips. I'm an agressive skiier and took several hard falls on my hips last year as well as hitting an oil slick and fell from my motorcyle at 50 mph (loaded up on vicodin and walked to get healed - I don't think I broke anything or I couldn't have walked). I hurt really bad, but, within about 2 months I was strong though still really sore, and a year later I seemed ok (no residual problems). My Dr said I may possibly have had fractures, but, the hip bones didn't break through. She disaproves of what I did, but, says the walking seemed to work (or not that much damage done was done to begin with). I'm presently pressing 150 pounds pressing with my hips to bring my knees together. I'll let you know if I get a better DEXA score.
I know - it's nuts to be still doing these activities, but, I know I won't stop what I love doing so please don't get down on me. I wonder if the dexa scores are correct and how brittle my bones are. All that aside, I've been reading up on all the great info you've been posting and some other google reading. Here's something interesting info I found and was wondering if anyone had tried this company's regimen? Or has anyone had good results from doing any of these things they talk about?
http://www.health-reports.com/Osteoporosis.html
Lack of magnesium may be the cause of your osteoporosis
Calcitonin relies on magnesium to function properly. When we lack magnesium, the balance between PTH and calcitonin tilts too far toward PTH. This results in excessive stimulation of osteoclasts, which causes net bone loss.
In other words, Magnesium suppresses the hormone that tells your body to pull calcium from the bones, and stimulates the hormone that tells the body to put calcium in your bones.
Excess acidity in your food intake and drinks may cause osteoporosis
When your diet contains too many acid foods like grains, pasta, bread, meat, soft drinks, with too few fruits and vegetables, your body starts to get acidic. As the blood must be a neutral pH, your body pulls calcium from the bones to neutralize the acidity. This is often the major factor in the development of osteoporosis. Get some pH strips from your drug store and check your salvia to see if it is too acidic.
The imbalance of the hormones DHEA and Cortisol may result in osteoporosis
Cortisol is a stress hormone, produced when there is stress. It will pull calcium from bones. Cortisol and DHEA balance each other out, if one is high the other is low. So one of the best ways to keep your levels of cortisol low is to make sure you are taking plenty of DHEA so that its levels are high. Low hormone levels in general can lead to loss of bones, which is why many women start to loose bone density after menopause. However, this would not happen if these other causes weren’t there. Correct them and you’ll regain bone density.
You can prevent and reverse even advanced osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a reversible disease. Even elderly people with very low bone density can increase density and prevent future problems like fractures and skeletal breakdown. Take a look at this email I received from Tanya.
Dear Robert,
We are thrilled to let you know some fabulous news.
A little over 15 months ago, I found your site on behalf of my then 74-year-old mother. She has suffered from Atypical Basiliar Migraines and SEVERE Osteoporosis for over 10 years now. After being discharged from the hospital (she has had several visits back to back for years), we decided to take it upon ourselves to have another bone density test done. The readings were horrible. The Osteoporosis Center here in Georgia wanted her to start taking Actonel immediately. I was furious. I knew there had to be a better way. My heavens, you certainly proved that to be true! We are so thankful to have found you! ...
She has consistently taken these supplements. She has NOT exercised nor taken any other supplements. We went in for her 18-month check-up and walked out leaving the nurse in shock! My mother's bone density had grown 3.5% in one year! They have never seen such aggressive results. Thank you, Robert.
Tanya J.
Why commercial medications may do more harm than good
Biphosphonate drugs, like Fosamax, Actonel and Boniva work by killing off osteoclasts which are supposed to resorb old, infirm bone. So when you take these medications, your bones may stay denser, but they will be composed of a higher amount of old, poor quality bone cells. The bone structure is made up of both of collagen and calcium, which means they will be more brittle and weak. You must have balanced bone resorption and creation. These drugs create an unbalanced environment which can't create strong healthy bones.
In fact, one of those drugs has been shown to increase rates of bladder cancer in the people who use it. There are also other prescription drugs that block the absorption of calcium into bones. Prednisone does this. It is commonly used to treat autoimmune, asthma, and inflammatory diseases.
Research any drug your doctor recommends online first to read about what its side effects are.
There are other companies that claim their one calcium product can take care of osteoporosis on its own. Well, that may be true in some cases where lack of calcium is the culprit, but most of the time many more issues are involved and have to be dealt with. They may even talk about collagen and osteoclasts, but don't give any accurate science behind why a calcium amino acid chelate will effect these.
We don't tout our main calcium product suggestion as being all you need to take, even though it is better that the highly advertised calcium chelate because it has the all important magnesium. In most cases, osteoporosis is more complicated than simple calcium deficiency.
As you will see, just taking any old calcium supplement is not the answer. Combining many supplements will help you reverse or prevent osteoporosis because they work on different issues. And they work better than the more common toxic drugs because they address the real underlying causes of osteoporosis.
There is one issue you should check the next time you go to your doctor. About 1 in 50,000 people have a problem with their parathyroid gland. When it malfunctions, it forms a small tumor that constantly signals the body to pull calcium from the bones. If you have this tumor, while it is still useful to take the osteoporosis improving products we recommend in this report as they will help stop the decreasing bone density, you are not going to reverse osteoporosis.
Later in this report we will give you two product suggestions as to what to take to naturally get rid of the tumor. Or you may decide to have an operation to get rid of that particular malfunctioning gland. Fortunately, there is a simple way to determine whether you have this issue or not. Get your blood calcium levels checked. If they are high, a parathyroid tumor is the probable cause of your osteoporosis. Go to www.parathyroid.com to read more about this.
Lifestyle changes make a huge difference
There may be any number of reasons you're experiencing bone loss. And while supplements can help rebuild bone over the long term, there are several things you can start doing right now that will help your body increase bone density or at least stop it from decreasing further.
1. Stop drinking soft drinks.
Soft drinks are high in phosphoric acid and sugar, making these drinks highly acidic. Calcium is the main mineral the body uses to neutralize that acid. So phosphoric acid depletes calcium levels by causing it to be pulled from the bones. Calcium is pulled out of the body when this happens, and this lowers blood calcium levels. To remedy this, the parathyroid gland restores calcium balance in the blood by pulling even more calcium from your bones. It's a downward spiral.
Soft drinks aren't the only culprits, either. A diet high in meat and carbohydrates, with few greens or fruits will be highly acidic also, causing the body to utilize calcium to neutralize the acids.
Stop excess consumption of milk and milk products. (Or take extra magnesium when you do so.)
For over 50 years milk has pitched as a wonder food whose calcium is the only protection we need against weak bones. Yet, Americans have one of the worlds high calcium intakes, but still suffer from one of the worlds highest rates of osteoporosis.
African women in the United States eat at least four times more calcium than African women in Africa, and have nine times more osteoporosis. Asian women in the United States eat at least 60% more calcium than Asian women in Asia, and have three times more osteoporosis. Calcium consumption in Hong Kong and Greece doubled in the last 30 years, and the rate of osteoporosis tripled in Hong Kong, and more than doubled in Greece.
Post-menopausal women in America who consume calcium rich dairy products have over three times more osteoporosis than those who do not. The Harvard Nurses Study, and a similar study done by the dairy industry found that the more dairy products we consume, the more bone we lose.
Another study concluded that women who drank two or more glasses of milk per day increased their risk of fractures compared with women who drank less than one glass per week, and that consumption of yogurt, cheese and other dairy products also increased the risk of fractures.
This is because milk products have about 10 times more calcium than magnesium.
Increasing Magnesium Intake Is Vital
Low magnesium intake, high calcium intake resulting in an imbalance of magnesium and calcium in your body is the single most important cause of bone loss. This imbalance literally signals your body to pull calcium from the bones, as strange as that may seem. And it causes the calcium you get in your diet or take as a supplement to be unusable. It must have magnesium to get into your bones. And causes the calcium to be deposited in arteries, joints, as bone spurs or kidney stones.
In addition lack of magnesium leads to stress, heart arthymia, poor circulation and more.
Rates of osteoporosis are lowest in cultures where the ratio of calcium to magnesium is between 2 parts calcium to 3 parts magnesium, down to as much as 3 parts calcium to 2 parts magnesium. The ratio of calcium to magnesium in dairy products is 10:1, way too high.
In nations with high rates of osteoporosis, the ratio of total calcium to magnesium intake is at least 2:1, usually over 3:1. For example…
o The South African population has a healthy ratio of 2 parts calcium to 3 parts magnesium in the average diet, and has an osteoporosis rate of 7.
o In the USA, the ratio is 4 parts calcium to 1 part magnesium and the osteoporosis rate is 144.
o In dairy-loving Switzerland, the ratio is 5.5 calcium to 1 magnesium and the rate is 188.
Lack of magnesium causes calcium to be pulled from the bones. This calcium is all too often deposited in soft tissue, where it can cause arthritis and arteriosclerosis. If you have been accumulating calcium in your body for a length of time you may need to take an absorbable magnesium supplement to balance the excess calcium with the magnesium deficiency. It will pull out the unwanted calcium from arteries and joints and help to put it back in your bones where it belongs.
Bones are living tissues that must be constantly rebuilt via a two part process. First, cells called osteoclasts clear old minerals out of bone tissue that has become weak and mottled, and carry it into the blood. Next, osteoblasts deposit new minerals and collagen back into the bone.
Osteoclasts and osteoblasts are activated by the parathyroid hormone which encourages osteoclasts to pull calcium from the bones. Calcitonin is the hormone that stimulates osteoblasts to deposit calcium into the bones.
When we lack magnesium, the balance between PTH and calcitonin tilts too far toward PTH. This results in excessive stimulation of osteoclasts, which causes net bone loss. Increasing magnesium is the only natural way to correct this.
Magnesium suppresses the hormone that tells your body to pull calcium from the bones, and stimulates the hormone that tells the body to put calcium in your bones. Lack of magnesium causes calcium to be pulled from the bones. This calcium is all too often deposited in soft tissue, where it can cause arthritis and arteriosclerosis. If you have been accumulating calcium in your body for a length of time you may need to take an absorbable magnesium supplement to balance the excess calcium with the magnesium deficiency. It will pull out the unwanted calcium from arteries and joints and help to put it back in the bones.
On the average, a vegan diet (no meat or milk) provides about 500 mg. per day of both calcium and magnesium. Studies show that vegans have stronger bones than meat and milk product eaters, especially after the age of 50. Studies also show that magnesium supplements, even when used without calcium, increase bone density. In two such studies, bone density was increased, within nine months, by 7% and 8%. Another study, by renowned gynecologist Guy Abraham, provided a supplement that included 500 mg. per day of calcium, and 600 mg. of magnesium. Women using this supplement increased bone mass by over 11% within nine months.
Most grains are acid-forming, except millet and buckwheat, which are slightly alkaline. Sprouted seeds and grains become more alkaline in the process of sprouting. Vegetable and fruit juices are highly alkaline. The most alkaline foods are: figs, juices of all green vegetables and tops of carrots and beets, celery, pineapple and citrus juices. Vegetable broth.
Reduce stress.
Cortisol is a hormone produced when your body is under stress that causes calcium to be pulled from the bones. In this day and age, it isn’t easy to reduce stress, so excess cortisol may well be initiating the pull of calcium your bones. We suggest keeping a set of the Usherite Tetrajacks next to you to help with this. The subtle energies the special geometric shaped Tetrajacks emit help reduce stress at the cellular level. DHEA balances out cortisol, so the higher the DHEA levels you have, the lowr the cortisol levels. There are a host of benefits from raising your levels of DHEA.
By the way, some medicines actually block the absorption of calcium into bones. Prednisone, a commonly used medicine, does this. It is used to treat autoimmune, asthma, and inflammatory diseases. www.breakthroughhealthproducts.com/DHEA.html covers an excellent DHEA supplement.
So what can you do to reverse osteoporosis and increase bone density as quickly as possible?
Before we get started on a comprehensive supplement regime to reverse osteoporosis, let’s cover something very basic. Weight-bearing exercise, whether it is walking, doing squats or push-ups, or working out with weights, will help to increase the density of the bones. And gives you lots of other health benefits too. The long term results makes exercise well worth doing. Studies even show it increases mental ability and function.
Using several of the right kind of supplements is necessary to reverse or prevent osteoporosis. Contrary to what some internet websites say, just one supplement or drug is not going to get the job done in 99 out of 100 cases. And because the right natural supplements address the real, underlying causes of osteoporosis, they work better than the toxic drugs that don’t address these underlying fundamental issues. One of those drugs has been shown to increase rates of bladder cancer in the people who use it. Research any drug your doctor recommends online first to read about what its side effects are.
Biphosphonate drugs, like Fosamax, Actonel and Boniva work by killing off osteoclasts which are supposed to resorb old, infirm bone. So not as much bone gets resorbed when you use the drugs. Unfortunately, though your bones may stay denser when you take Fosamax, they are composed of a higher amount of old, poor quality bone cells, both of collagen and calcium, so will be more brittle and weak. You must have balanced bone resorption and creation for healthy bones. These drugs creates an unbalanced environment - which can’t create healthy bones. There are other companies that claim their one calcium product can take care of osteoporosis on its own. Well, it may be able to in a very few cases where lack of calcium is a culprit, but most of the time many more issues are involved and have to be dealt with. They may even talk about collagen and osteoclasts, but don’t give any accurate science behind why a calcium amino acid chelate will effect these. So while we could tout a calcium supplement suggestion as being all you need to take, and how it is better than the highly advertised calcium chelate because it has the all important magnesium, we would be doing you a disservice. Osteoporosis is more complicated then this in most cases.
So let's take a look at a complete and highly effective osteoporosis fighting regime. Even one or two products can help, but using the suggested protocols will provide the fastest results.
They go on to sell stuff.

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I am a fit and healthy 56 year old who was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis. My spine reading was -3.8 and hip -2.6

I live in the UK and have been put on alendronic acid once a week tablets.

There seems to be so little knowledge around the condition which seems to be simply considered as something that only involves the elderly. I have been to physiotherapists to ask about a training regime but they seem to have no idea and give me some modest exercises that they have applied to those in their 80's. I want to do something about the condition and not just take this medication but I don't know who to turn to for reliable info on exercise and diet including supplements. I saw the article you mention. It seems credible but it may just be to promote their supplements. I have read elsewhere of the importance of magesium but there are so many types I don't know which to take. I have also heard that whilst you are buidling up any magnesium deficiency you should not take calcium supplements.

I am very confused and getting quite depressed not knowing who to trust or to turn to.

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As caretaker for an elderly parent who suffers from osteo. she has chosen to do nothing. She has become very frail, had her hip replaced and is more "bent"over. Vitamin supplements are important. There is a company that has a metabolic testing kit indicating where nutritional deficiencies lie and then they customize a multivitamin to your specific needs. I don't believe they are in the UK yet though. Although the company has been around for 12 years they are just expanding and launching in the US this November.

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Hi dealwitit,
Depression hit me hard too and then I got mad (actually I would normally describe it to my friends as P*ssed). We had a discussion on the use of 'certain' words not being PG-13 enough, so, I use astericks as certainly no 13 yr old would know the words :) My point is that expression of how one really feels I think is an important part of being well and to not allow one's self to be sublimated into passivity by anything or anyone, including ourself. Yes, I am a 'victim' of this silent stealer of my otherwise extremely healthy life. I did everything 'right' - ate dairy (which now looks like may be part of the problem - animal protein and acidity) and too little magnesium. But, I'm empowered by finding you and the other determined women here to support and help each other and that alone makes me want to fight to find the answers for both myself and the others. So, you have my deepest empathy. Personally, I took a whole weekend and just slept (completely gave in to the unfairness of the whole thing, the sense of helplessness, and the pain that I have from fibermyalgia, and a bad lung condition I have). Then I got up and started googling and found this site. Constructive anger is now my friend. I'm going to find the answers or if I'm scr*wed at least I have people I can talk to in support so I'm not an emotional burden on my family. These are my health issues, not theirs, and I want to talk about anything other than my health problems when I'm with them. I hope you stick around on this site as we try to figure out if we can reverse this osteo stuff. I'm going to the gym every other night and pressing weight up with my legs and pressing my knees using my hips....and trying to get my system optimally set up with what it needs (which I'm primarily exploring right now). I'm going to check out what Woody's support group has to offer (he posted a response to me, check his out). I'm going to check his web site out and see what's going on there as well. Personally, I think we're going to figure this out with so many good motivated minds working on it. Big hug, Linda

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Linda, please also use Search for SaraMeeks and MotherGoose; both physical therapists that have written very helpful posts of information. Sara Meeks is the gold standard, in my opinion, for physical therapists and osteoporosis. If there is anything specific to osteoporosis, please post. I will look back on past discussion posts and bring to your attention. Sandi

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Thanks LindaSS. It is really good to hear from others out there. And thanks also sdivas. I will seek out SaraMeeks and see if she can help on the exercise side. There justs seems to be so little knowledge or expertise where I live and trainers do not seem to know the first thing about the condition and have recommended exercise that even with my limited knowledge I know is inappropriate. I'll keep looking!

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Hi...thought you might like to know my situation. I had my first bone scan 2 1/2 years ago when I was 52yr old. I had a T-score of -3.2 spine and -2.6 femor. I took several months of bisphosphonates, had side effects and stopped. I then went to an endocrinologist who ruled out metabolic reasons for my bone loss and had me start taking Vit D (it was low) Ca+ (mostly try to get it through diet) and HRT in a close to bioidentical, low dose form as I can tolerate (Activella). All this was to prevent further bone loss. I also started a serious weight training and exercise program 18 months ago. I worked with a trainer and did not tell him I was osteoporitic as I didn't want him to restrict me if I felt i could do something. So: here I am today, 54yrs old, my bone scan results from yesterday -2.1 spine and -2.2 femor. This is a 17% increase in the bone density in my spine! I'm no longer osteoporitic. I am also competing next weekend in a dead lifting competition and currently lift 235#. I weigh 118#. I have not had an injury except for those months, several years ago when I was taking the bisphosphonates oddly enough. I plan to continue lifting weight, continue cardio activities and yoga, taking theeHRT and supplements and eating a really good, balanced diet. I am pretty sure I will see more gains in the next year. All this without these drugs that have questionable efficacy and safety.

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michellea writes: "I am also competing next weekend in a dead lifting competition and currently lift 235#. I weigh 118#."

Just one comment: YOU ROCK!!! :-)

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Michella,
Congratulations!
I am traveling right now, but when i get back, can I copy your post and paste it into the "Success stories w/o drugs" discussion? Or if you'd prefer, you can write a new post there with your details (link below). We need to keep these success stories accessible to people!
Thanks for sharing your great progress, Santa Fe
http://www.inspire.com/groups/national-osteoporosis-foundation/discussion/s uccess-stories-w-o-drugs/

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Hi Michella

Congratulations on the improvement in your bone density. It is always so good to hear good news. Would you mind giving the details of your weight training and exercise program. Thanks

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Hey, thanks to all of you for the high fives! SantaFe, I'm happy to share my story. I know everyone is unique, but I figure most of us are capable of much more when it comes to exercise and lifestyle changes than our doctors give us credit for.
Little: I started out like most people when they join a gym. I found a great trainer and every time I made progress I would bug him to show me more of the free weight and cable machines. I then progressed to light weight squats and deadlifts and bench press. I was consistent, so I progressed pretty well. After a while I was lifting impressive weight for my stature.The best book I can recommend (it fits my trainers philosophy and types of exercises he had me doing really closely) is The New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler. It is a great place to get started or take to your own trainer and ask about these kinds of weight bearing , plyometric and resistance exercises. It also talks about diet if you need help there.

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Thanks Michella for the info on the exercise program. I will definitely check out the Lou Schuler book.

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michellea, may I ask if your fitness instructor has any bone loss knowledge? Also, does the book you recommended have knowledge specific for people with osteopenia/osteoporosis? Thanks. Sandi

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Good for you, Michellea! I am 55 and was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis. Like you, I plan to continue my active lifestyle. I am eating healthy and have incorporated daily exercise and weight lifting. Hopefully, I will see improved results with my next bone scan. I refuse to take drugs.

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Michellea,

I am interested in the HRT part of your program. Did you have your hormone levels tested before going on bioidenticals, and do you know what those numbers were?
And do you know what your hormone numbers are now that you have increase BMD?
Thanks,
Santa Fe

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Hi Sdiva...I have been traveling so my answer is a bit late. Firstly I'd like to let you all know I competed in my dead lift competition and lifted 231#. I have a California state record for my age and weight class (I currently weigh 116#).
..I told my instructer I wanted to improve my bone health and he was knowledgable about the types of weight exercises that put the bones under stress to help strengthen them. The power lifting exercises are generally agreed to be the most effective all around for muscle, bone and nervous system development.
The Lou Shuler book doesn't address osteoporosis, but a book called Strong Women Strong Bones does. It's also a great place to start if you are new to exercise.
Santa Fe: I am currently taking an HRT called Activella. I'ts synthetic but close to natural estrogen and progesterone with only one of each (estradiol/norethindrone) in the pill. I tried estrogen/progesterone in separate pills but I couldn't tolerate the progesterone (it made me dizzy, weirdly enough) so although this isn't exactly bioidentical, it is close. I have regular mammos and paps and generally work with my gyn to stay on as low a dose of estrogen as possible. It has also helped with menopause symptoms. I didn't have hormone levels tested as my doctor knew by sysmptoms I was low in estrogen. She and I worked together to find the right dose and combination based on how well I tolerated it and if it helped with symptoms like night sweats. I changed doses and pills a few times until we got it right. I feel good, do not have sweats, hot flashes, etc and no break through bleeding so no need to test levels.It really is more about how you feel and tolerate these medications than what blood levels read. Also, menopause is so dynamic, you can change a lot from one month to the next so relying on blood levels isn't much good.

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